NTT IndyCar Series: 5 bold predictions for the 2024 season

The 2024 IndyCar season is scheduled to get underway this coming weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. What does the year have in store?

Pato O'Ward, Alex Palou, IndyCar
Pato O'Ward, Alex Palou, IndyCar / Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 3 - Multiple full-time drivers miss the Indy 500

This scenario, of course, is contingent on no guaranteed entry nonsense.

Predicting a full-time driver to miss the Indy 500 is about as bold as picking Purdue to get beaten by a double-digit seed in March Madness at this point, as a full-time driver has indeed been bumped out of the Indy 500 in three of the four most recent instances of bumping going back to 2018. The lone exception was in 2021, when Charlie Kimball and R.C. Enerson missed the race.

But this year's Indy 500 could feature an entry list with more cars than any race since 2011, with 37 cars potentially going for 33 spots. This year, expect multiple big names to be knocked out of the field.

In 2011, five of the eight drivers who failed to qualify for the race were full-time drivers, including the following season's champion.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway plays no favorites, as we have seen on many occasions in recent years. Though talks continue to heat up regarding potential guaranteed starting spots in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing", we could still be set up for a Bump Day the likes of which we have not seen in 13 years.

Last year, only one driver failed to qualify for the race, and that driver was Graham Rahal (though he did become an injury replacement for Stefan Wilson).

Just how deep is the current IndyCar field? No driver finished the 2023 season with more total pole positions than Graham Rahal.

Nobody is safe. Let's keep it that way.